A common misconception is that, in order to be an effective agreement, all contracts must be in writing and signed by both parties. This is not true. So long as the parties to the agreement are able or "competent" to enter into an agreement and so long as some type of value or "consideration" is exchanged, then many types of agreements may be effective upon a verbal exchange or with an unsigned writing.
|photo credit: NobMouse
In light of the potential pitfalls involved in executing a contract, it is typically advisable to consult an attorney before entering into any type of legal agreement. Everyone hopes that their agreements will work out, but a knowledgeable attorney can help you ensure that your contracts are enforceable in the event of a breach.